Cinemark, the third-largest theater chain in the United States, unveiled its plans to begin a phased reopening that will follow recommended CDC and public health organizations' guidelines in promoting social distancing. The company plans to start with five cinemas in Dallas, reopening them on June 19th. The remaining theaters will open from July 3th and over the course of the next two weeks. In a report from Variety, the new health and safety protocols include enhanced cleaning and sanitation, reduced showtimes, staggered seating, hand sanitizing stations, and increased air filtration. Patrons are strongly encouraged, but not required to wear face masks.
"If a particular state or county requires face masks, we will abide by that," Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said. "We will strongly encourage it, but if the county or city has not deemed it a requirement, we will not require it on top of that." Employees will be required to wear face masks and gloves at all times. They'll also go through extensive training and complete a wellness check-in prior to each shift. The company plans to bring back thousands of furloughed employees. When Cinemark reopens, it intends to start attracting customers with classics like Ghostbusters (1984), Wonder Woman (2017), and The Goonies (1985) at reduced prices starting at $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.
The chain will systemically release new films starting on July 10th with the thriller Unhinged starring Russell Crowe from Solstice Studios. The following week, Sony Pictures will release The Broken Hearts Gallery on July 17th. The blockbusters start with Disney's live-action Mulan on July 24th and the much-anticipated Christopher Nolan film Tenet on July 31st. Below are the step-by-step measures Cinemark will implement.
- All public and high-touch spaces, such as concession stands, door handles, drink stations, self-ticketing kiosks, benches, and restrooms, will be thoroughly sanitized every 30 minutes using products identified by the EPA to be effective in eliminating COVID-19.
- Each auditorium will be disinfected every morning, and all handrails and occupied seats, along with those on either side, will be sanitized between showtimes.
- All theatres will reopen with reduced operating hours and staggered showtimes to maximize physical distancing.
- For additional assurance, there will be seat wipes and ample hand sanitizer available for customer use.
- Auditoriums will have limited capacities that meet or exceed local ordinances, and the seats adjacent to parties will be automatically blocked upon ticket purchase.
- In accordance with CDC recommendations, guests are strongly encouraged to wear face masks.
- Where applicable, Cinemark will adhere to local policies that require residents to wear face masks in public.
- Cinemark will be employing new tactics to increase the fresh air intake to enhance the overall air quality of our theatres and using High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing (HEPA) filtration in all vacuums.
- Cinemark has streamlined its in-theatre ticket verification processes, no longer requiring digital ticket holders to carry a paper ticket, and moviegoers purchasing tickets at the theatre will no longer need to hand their printed ticket to the ushers.
- All are encouraged to purchase tickets online and use contactless payment methods for a more contact-free experience. Guests who are not feeling well are asked to stay home, and Cinemark will gladly provide a full ticket refund.
- To help reduce potential contact between cash and food-handling areas, cash payments will not be accepted at the concession stand. However, each theatre will have a designated area where cash will be accepted, and gift cards will be available.
- There will be plenty of in-theatre signage that will encourage moviegoers to practice proper physical distancing as well as showcase the new protocols involved in The Cinemark Standard.
- Moviegoers are asked to properly dispose of their trash to further protect our employees and allow for maximized cleaning between showtimes.